FUEL JUNKIE – All Out

Fuel Junkie 2019

FUEL JUNKIE –
All Out

Hot and nasty team from Montreal set on a blazing course with sophomore effort to prove they’re the real deal who’s here for the long haul.

Listening to this ensemble’s melodious brass assault on blues, it seems logical to see their locale as Muscle Shoals or Memphis, while in fact the sextet of childhood friends strut their stuff from the not-so-muddy banks of the St. Lawrence River. The band don’t celebrate such contrast, though, as their swagger and sway embrace traditional values of hot rods and hot legs, and why not? They’re as good as it gets within the genre’s constraints that are loose anyway.

From the title track’s rockabilly, deliciously frenetic and fleshed out with saxes’ wail and six-string twang, onwards, there’s rarely a moment to relax over the course of album’s almost-hour which is driven by songwriter Mark LeClerc’s honeyed vocals and Philippe Fleury’s powerful drums that elevate the jive of “High Stress, Low Money” above the roofs and let the reeds have a field day. And they do, with much gusto, LeClerc and Philippe Brochure-Pelletier’s tenors and Patrice Luneau’s baritone, as well as a couple of trumpets and a couple of trombones, vying for space to soar and flying in harmonic formation. “Can You Dig It?” may slow things down, yet the piece’s lava-hot drift will move your soul, especially when Jean-François Charest’s bass licks come to the fore for a solo and usher in Antoine Loiselle’s guitar wigout before “Bad Luck” cools the flow, Chicago-way.

It’s impossible to resist the arresting “Kiss In The Moonlight” whose start-stop mode, insistent rocking and exuberant swirl is able to melt the hardest of hearts, and the funk-spiced, albeit transparent, epic “Hard Times” to grip this muscle of love, but the brief ‘n’ breezy “Get Out On The Road” and instrumental rumble of “TorqueFlite” banish all the worries in favor of joie de vivre. Quite unexpectedly, then, the sludgy finale “Push Me Away” offers a heavy riff and finds the ensemble follow in David Coverdale‘s wake – and if this is their new route, the Quebecois band’s next record should shoot even higher… given the guys won’t lose their originality.

****4/5

June 3, 2021

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